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Noma’s Dream – Episode 15

NOMA’S DREAM – GRACE OCHIGBO
EPISODE FIFTEEN

“It’s not what you think, Honey.” Prof Akpa finally finds his voice. He thinks about love and consequences for a minute before moving slowly towards the door where his wife is standing, frozen. Her eyes dead with fear and he knows better than to make any lighter this moment.
Perhaps he should just tell her now – everything, a thought comes up in his head.
Just do it, she deserves to know. Another voice calls out loudly in his head.
“OK, I will do it.” He voices out his thoughts before they’d strangulate him and that unsettles Iye a little. “I know you heard everything…” Prof Akpa starts, not knowing the exact format to take. “And about…”
“Your son.” Iye speaks for the first time since she got into the room.
“I can explain, please.” He hurries to come kneel before his wife, taking her hand. He had expected she would fling it away but Iye can be a shocker and stunner at the same time.
With voice laden with fear and grief, Professor Akpa moves to explain a secret he’d kept to himself for years.
“I regret ever having to throw away our baby with the bath water, honey.” He holds tighter onto her hand. “I’m sorry for being so insensitive, rather so selfish that I let personal goals cloud my judgement. I’m sorry for everything, honey.” There’s a crack in his voice and Iye gently squeezes her hand off his before moving over to take the only chair in the room.
“You are yet to tell me about Audu Akpa Jr.” She sounds nonchalant and that’s typical. In order to limit the aftermath of her anger, she always tries as much as possible to water down the pangs of pain in her heart by sounding totally unconcerned about what’s hurting her deepest.
“Several months after the vain search for our daughter, I became so devastated and frustrated at the same time. I couldn’t admit the guilt that was weighing me down and telling you wouldn’t help matters, so I confided in Prof Salawu, my good friend.” He sees his wife’s eyebrows raise in suspicion and he quickly answers whatever he thinks would be the ongoing question in her mind. “Yes. The former VC.”
Prof Iye wants to say that she’d always had her reservations about her husband’s sudden friendship with Prof Salawu. This is a man notorious for a lot of things, including letting cultists go scot free sometimes ago in the name of powers that be. This is a man who had a lot of dents attached to his name and suddenly, her husband became his favorite, so much so that he promoted him as successor?
“As you know, honey, my mother had been on our neck since Joyce to give her a…”
“A son.” Iye cuts in, then keeps quiet like she said nothing.
“Please, Honey… please, I…”
“Just go on, Audu. Just go on with your story because any attempt at patronizing me right now may make me hate you more than I am trying to avoid right now.”
Prof Akpa swallows against a tightening on his throat. “C’mon Iye.”
“Complete the damn story, Audu!”
He draws back a bit to see her face and the venom in there could kill a viper itself.
“So I was told, more like taught, that I can have a woman, just at the side. Hopefully, she’d give me the male child I require and all I have to do is to take responsibility for them without child and mother interrupting my immediate family.”
Prof Iye tries hard to stay cool. “And when the child is grown?”
“Ehemmm…” He stammers and Iye urges him to speak on. “Honey, please.”
“Please? What are you saying ‘please’ for? You are begging me to accept your son? A son I couldn’t give you?”
“Don’t make it sound that way, honey.”
“Sound what other way, Audu.” Iye loses her cool and springs onto her feet. “What other way can a helpless wife sound whose position in the house has been forcefully taken away from her by a strange woman having a son for her husband? Tell me!” She yells at the top of her lungs.
Prof Akpa takes in deep breaths. “I’m sorry, Iye. I didn’t realize how much wrong I was doing until recently when the lady resorted into blackmail.”
“She was the one you drove alone to see last night, huh? She suddenly wants to come home too.”
“No…” Prof Akpa cuts in, jumping up as well. “She’s not coming into any home, honey. Believe me.”
Iye turns around and lands a thunderous slap on her husband’s cheeks. Then, as much as she tries to hold it in, the pain comes out like an uproar from her throat in the form of a silent scream. The beads of water starts falling down one after another, without no sign of stopping. She hits the wall and tries to scream but her voice is melted by the silence of the place. The sobs wracks against her chest. The world turns a blur and so does everything. Everything she thinks she has, now appears as though completely gone. Prof Akpa uses one hand to nurse his hurting cheek and the other to cross over Iye’s shoulder.
“I thought you were an elite, Audu? I thought it didn’t matter to you whether you had all females as kids or all boys? I thought children are supposed to be and mean the same, whether male or female?” Her voice breaks even more as she asks these questions without giving a break in between for answers.
Prof Akpa grabs her shivering body, with little hesitations initially until she lets him hold her in a tight hug.
“I value my daughters, Iye. I do. I love them dearly and you know it. Ojonoma and Joyce alike. That’s why I couldn’t get over the shock of my lovely Noma getting pregnant at such a young age.”
“She was raped, Honey. It was no fault of hers that cultists raided her hostel.”
“She should have cried out for help immediately. She should have gone to the hospital. There’s something that could have been done other than letting the seed of a vagabond grow in her.”
Iye releases herself from the hug and gives her husband such a cold look that would kill him if her eyes carried guns.
“Why did you send her packing to the village again?” She lets a sarcastic laugh dance around her lips. “Because of your political ambition. You’d already been assured the esteemed position of the almighty VC of the University of Ilorin, and could not bear the thought of the scandal that would come with your first daughter getting pregnant and dropping out of the same university.”
“It’s not what you think, Iye.”
“Oh! Please.” The woman waves her hands carelessly. “It was more important to preserve your dignity as the well-respected Prof Audu Akpa, so you could qualify for the esteemed position of a vice chancellor than it was for your place and role as a father. Father of a vulnerable pregnant teen girl.”
Prof Akpa holds onto his head, as though what he’s wife is saying is losing some nuts in there. “Please stop!”
“You sent my little girl to the village, Audu. A place she’s never been to all her life. You merely took her to the park with descriptions written out on paper, amidst stern warnings that I don’t follow her and that if she’s old enough to get pregnant, then she should be old enough to find her way to Ofabo.”
Prof gets down on his knees, looking helpless. “I was foolish, honey. Don’t torture me more than this.”
“Noma didn’t get to Ofabo, and she didn’t return here. We deployed all means to go in search of her to no avail. It’s six years now, Honey, that you wickedly sent my first daughter away from her own father’s house for a cause that’s not a fault of hers.”
A tear drops down Prof AKpa’s face this time. “I’m sorry, honey, I know I’ve not been a good father to the girls and the kind of husband you deserve.”
“Just so you can have an opportunity to impregnate a strange woman to give you a son, you sent my Noma away. My girl, my sunshine, my gist partner, you sent her away, Audu. I don’t even know if she’s alive or not.”
Prof Akpa rolls his head from right to left. “No. honey, no. I never had any mind of bringing another woman into this family. It was a mistake that happened just once honey, believe me. Just once.”
“The same kind of mistake that happened just once to my precious daughter?” Iye feels a tightening in her chest. “I used to think that you were in love with me, and much more that you love my daughters as dearly as you claim to, but right now, as I stand here today, I announce to you that you have just buried me alive, Audu. You just conducted a burial on my living body. Yes. you did.” Her voice slowly drifts away until everything darkens into nothingness and she passes into the oblivion of unconsciousness as she collapses onto the floor.
Alarmed, Prof hurriedly gets on his feet and hurries over to his wife’s position on the floor. Shaking the entirety of her lifeless body in his hands, he screams at the top of his lungs. ‘somebody help!!!!”

*****

Noma stares intensely at the ring in what Akoji thinks is taking eternity. She carries no single expression whatsoever on her face amidst it all and that bothers him the most. He looks on with curiosity as she blinks and tears pour down her eyes. Hopefully, the women in his life would realize one day how allergic he is to tears and would stop crying around him. Until then, he’s just going to ask,
“What’s the matter, finest girl?”
Noma rubs her tongue over her lower lips and Akoji feels a shiver run down his spine. He ignores it and urges her to speak up.
“Akoji, my prince…” she starts, rubbing her hand over his hair still in that kneeling position. “I love you so much and I’m sure you know that by now.”
Akoji brings her left hand to his lips and places a soft kiss on it. “I love you too, my finest girl. That’s why I want you to do me the utmost honor of being my wife.”
Noma hesitates for a moment, letting her hands enjoy the softness from Akoji’s touch. She struggles to keep the turbulent storm of water threatening to burst out her eyes in there.
“I’ve learnt a long time ago to run away from trouble not because I’m too weak or unwilling to fight, but because some battles are just better left for the Lord.” She spreads her lips into a smile and that makes a tear roll down her face. Akoji finds himself smiling too as he dabs the lone tear from her smooth cheeks. Noma blinks. He’s about to confuse her, she thought.
He always does. Not intentionally though, but easily. Akoji has won his way into the deepest chamber of her heart and it’s as though whenever the two of them get together, one person loses a part of his normal brain function. Well, in this case, she’s the victim more often than not. Around him, she becomes overtly cautious and begins to count her words in a manner that surprises even her.
“I’ve so fantasized about being a queen right from the first time I acted queen in my Prom back in high school. I’d always thought it as a beautiful idea, dressed in beautiful flowing and colorful regalia and being attended to by a thousand and one maids.”
Akoji presses his lips together. The curiosity building inside him can be felt several miles away.
“I didn’t know you were a prince when we met. I was reluctant to be around you until I found out that you’d walked your way into and had become an integral part of me the whole time I was still in denial.”
“Same here too, Finest girl.” Akoji interrupts her, readjusting his weight on one knee. “I told you everything about my past back in the palace. I wasn’t searching for a wife when I saw you that evening. I only wanted to give someone I thought needed help a ride.” He wants to continue but shuts his eyes firmly, letting the entire scene from that fateful evening roll in again. He never pictured the rapid transition from her being just a friend to becoming more than a friend to him in months. Flashing his eyes, he starts smiling sheepishly.
“What’s making you smile?” Noma sounds baffled.
Akoji, still smiling, opens his eyes and holds her gaze. Whenever he smiles, it feels like the heavens opened up all shades of goodness on the earth. Akoji is a beauty to behold.
“It’s you, finest girl. You bring so much joy and fulfilment to my heart.”
Noma rolls her eyes and then they sight the ring Akoji is intentionally pointing in her direction. She swallows and shifts her weight gradually until she gets to the edge of the bed. Akoji squats now to enable her move freely as she appears to want to get off the bed. From his position, he watches keenly – his mind is not suggesting anything from Noma’s actions.
Noma pulls down the edge of her tank top over the short she’s wearing. It must be Mrs. Gina who pulled away her cloths and lay her down to sleep last night. She can only remember breaking out in loud uncontrollable tears that couldn’t be pacified. As she takes one step in the direction of the door, Akoji couldn’t take it anymore. He immediately jumps onto his feet and takes her by the waist. When he’s very tightly gummed to her so much so that there’s no space for air to pass between them, he breaks down and sobs into her chest unceasingly, hands clutching at her back like a lifejacket. She holds him in silence, rocking him slowly as his tears soaks her chest. A tiny crack in his throat lets him pull away, blinking lashes heavy with tears before collapsing onto the bed behind him. He’d never envisaged it would take Noma any longer than a second to accept his ring and scream ‘yes’ to his proposal. Here he is, helpless, not knowing what to expect.
Noma feels her guards break but she’s firm, she tries to be. Without looking at Akoji who’s taking a pause for recovering breaths after minutes of sobbing, she walks through the door and out of the room.
“Finest girl…” Akoji mutters with the last strength left in him, even that isn’t louder than a whisper. He feels an impulse to follow Noma out but decides against it; partly because he couldn’t feel his own body. It’s as though all his muscles are disjointed from their sinews and bones.
Few minutes later after Akoji was left alone with his thoughts, he hears the sound of someone walking down the corridor in the direction of the room. He adjusts on the bed, bracing himself for whatever is about to come. Then the knob moves and the door finally opens up, presenting the person he least expect to see now.
Akoji could hear his own heartbeat as the woman approaches where he’s sitting on the bed. The expression on her eyes is deep but unreadable by anyone other than her. She gets to the bed and bends to sit, so Akoji jerks and readjusts immediately. Her eyes show the kind of gentle concern his younger brother used to have. She lays her hand lightly on his shoulder and instead of flinching like he usually would do, he is soothed by it. Mrs. Gina leaves her hand there and opens her mouth to speak with such a soft voice Akoji feels her voice calming him more by the way they are being said than the actual words. It feels as if he’s wrapped in a blanket of her caring and soothing words.
“So son…” Mrs. Gina draws the word ‘son’ for so long it sounds like SOUN! He bits his lips and sits upright awaiting the announcement that may kill him.

*****

Joyce wouldn’t wait for the chips in her mouth to be swallowed before accompanying with a bite of chicken. Thought people said that barbeques in Nigeria are scam? How come she’s having this very delicious something to eat, courtesy of Nick? Well, treating her to a good meal doesn’t make her like him anyways.
“So do you like me enough to listen to me now?” Nick’s voice has sarcasm in it and that makes Joyce want to punch him.
“You mean I’m a glutton who can only be appeased by food, huh?”
“Good food, you mean?”
Joyce scoffs and the food almost gets into the wrong place. Incredible. The young man didn’t even wave off the part of the ‘glutton’ in her statement.
“First things first,” He says, bringing her back from her thoughts. Joyce takes her eyes off the plate to face him. “By way of introduction, my name is Nicholas Saraki, Nick for short. I’m from the famous Saraki’s family, the ones that owns and rules Ilorin in particular and Kwara as a whole.”
Joyce scoffs again. She must say that his jokes are really dry and not as funny as he may want to flatter himself by smiling. “You? From Saraki’s family?”
Nick takes a moment to glance at himself to be sure he’s still the one. “Yes. Me. And why do you sound so surprised? I don’t look like someone from such high profile family, huh?”
Joyce bursts into laughter but takes it gently, remembering she’s in public. The striking difference between her and her elder sister is that the latter is more prim and proper. “It’s even better you don’t come from there because I have a strong crush on your uncle.”
Nick broadens his lips into a smile. “You mean my uncle Bukola? Nigeria’s senate president?”
“Hmmm hmmm! No o!” Joyce rolls her head. “Your uncle Kolabu.” That makes Nick smile even broader. “If not the senate president, is it you I’ll be crushing on?”
“Now I see that aunty Toyin has a handful of rivals much more than she can possibly count.”
“Please o.” Joyce raises her hands, giggling. “I’m only joking o. I’m nobody’s rival o. Please.”
Nick couldn’t believe how that the young lady is effortlessly cracking him up with her funny gestures, jests, actions and inactions. “You are suddenly afraid?”
“No…” Her voice goes higher. “I’m not afraid at all. I’m not.” She sits up straighter to defend herself. “I’m only saying that…”
Nick shushes her gently, placing his right palm on hers. “You don’t have to explain anything, Joyce. You really don’t have to. And I was joking about coming from the Saraki’s family.”
He thinks he noticed a sigh of relief from Joyce, but discards it. His eyes bore holes into the lady’s body so much so that her discomfort is so visible to the blind and audible to the deaf.
“May I ask you a question and demand that you answer me sincerely.”
Joyce sits up, more like bracing herself for whatever attack is about to be launched on her.
“Relax, baby girl.” Nick spills his thoughts. “Why are you always on the defensive?”
Joyce rolls her eyes. “Can you shoot the question already?”
Nick smiles. “There you go. You have it.”
“Have what?”
“The question. I’ve asked the question.”
Joyce is as confused as anything. “Asked me what? When? How?”
Nick lets out this victorious laughter that only a gold medalist would give. “Find it.”
Then Joyce does the thing Nick would consider the craziest, yet most attractive to him. She takes up her half empty plate, then drops it. She’s about to remove the entire table cloth when Nick voices out with curiosity.
“What are you doing, Joyce?”
“Looking for your question, of course.” She says it so casually; Nick begins to laugh out loud. It’s a matter of seconds until she joins in the rib cracking laughter which doesn’t last long because her phone buzzes and begins to ring.
“Excuse me, please.” She tries to stop the laughter before pulling sideways the receive button.

*****

Clinton checks the screen of his phone again to be sure he’s hearing correctly. His mother’s number has been reporting unreachable in the last hours and that’s most unusual. It’s practically impossible for the woman’s phone to go off at any point. No! His mother would have called to check up on him also by now, but guess big brother is doing to them all what only him can do – causing everyone to forget Collins completely. His flight is due in few days and that in itself should be a good reason for his mother to bombard him with calls as she always does.
Tapping the dial icon again, he waits… same response.
Alarmed now, he could sense danger yet feels completely confused over what next to do. There’s one thing he’s not done before. He would rather call the office and ask someone to hurry over to the palace to check the situation of things there. But today, he doesn’t feel the need to do that. It’s weird but what’s weirder is who he’s about to call now.
Tapping the dial icon in front of the contact, he catches himself letting out hot air he’s been holding since his moments of indecision.

****

Patrick gets off the treadmill in a manner one may consider completely suicidal. He doesn’t care still; he wants to be sure his eyes are not deceiving him.
“Are you not going to let me in?”
He leaves off the door his hand was blocking. “I’m sorry. I mean. This is unbelievable.”
“What is unbelievable, guy?” Akoji nudges him on the side. “And why is this place so dry? Where is everybody?”
Patrick smiles broadly, unable to curtail the pure joy he feels inside. “Training starts in two hours, in case you have forgotten. I’m just warming up for it.”
Akoji blinks.
“AK, my guy. God.” Patrick draws him in for a hug. Akoji hugs reluctantly at first hoping it would be short until Patrick doesn’t appear to pull away and he has to hug with his soul. “I missed you so much.”
Akoji giggles while still unable to keep his eyes open from exhaustion. “Abeg o, it’s fourteen years’ imprisonment without bail.”
Patrick lets out a coy smile. “I can go to jail for you as long as it’s with you.”
Akoji just nods his head weakly as he moves through the inner room to the part of the apartment that’s Patrick’s house. He knows there are a thousand and one questions all up his friend’s sleeves but he needs to settle in first. He’s travelled all night to come make a proposal. Mrs. Gina had said a lot of things his head is trying hard to process. He needs to rest the head, away from the maddening crowd.

****

Joyce hurries through the crowded area in front of the University of Ilorin Teaching hospital. She’s not so familiar with this place and the mere smell of air mixed with drugs in the atmosphere makes her feel like she’s going to choke. Her father had called her while at the date with Nick and without considering anything else, she jumped up and started walking out of the restaurant. It had taken Nick a lot of talking and persuasion to let him bring her here. Immediately he drove in and found a place to halt at the park, Joyce hurried out of the car and here she is now, jumping the fleet of stairs that would lead her to the VIP wards.
“Dad, what’s wrong, what happened to mum?” She calls out literally from the door.
Prof Akpa, who’s standing somewhere away from the hospital bed opens his hands and Joyce falls into a tight hug with her father. She could feel it. His hands are strongly built and for the first time, she feels, like a cup, her father is pouring so much emotions off his heart on her. She withdraws from the hug in a hurry and moves over to where her mother is sitting up on the bed with her back resting against a pillow.
“Mummy!!!” Joyce hugs her still in the sitting position. “What happened to you, mummy?”
“I collapsed, baby.” She says with a weak voice.
Joyce eyes pop open. “Collapse? How? Where? When?” she moves her eyes from her mother to where her father is standing and back to her mother. “How, mum?”
Prof Iye takes in a deep breath of chilly air and her brows pulls together. “I’m good now, baby.” She says.
With every passing second, Iye’s mind becomes clearer, more resolute and she could see clearly several steps from where she’s now. As the bright light from the bulbs in the room caresses her skin, promising a new dawn, a new beginning, she attempts to bury some things she wants to forget forever. Then abruptly pausing to close her eyes and take in another deep breath, she steels herself to only think of her future from here on.
“Joyce,” she picks her daughter’s hand and the latter could swear she’s losing her mind from anxiety. “Your father and I love you so much, you know that right?”
‘C’mon mum, can you go on already?’ Joyce is about to spill her thoughts.
But only a slight nod comes out and Prof Iye manages a weak smile. “Yes, we do. And…”
“I’m sorry, my baby.” Prof Akpa calls, drawing closer to the two women but skeptical about passing his limits. Iye had clearly asked him to stay some healthy meters away from her ever since she was resuscitated. “I’m sorry I sent your elder sister and best friend away from you.”
Joyce blinks her eyes as her father’s words hit deeply.
Noma had been sent to the village for ‘falling’ pregnant and she… well, she could claim to also be sent away from the house in her own right. It may be termed ‘we are sending you abroad to have a sound educational background’ but what Joyce felt in her moments of preparing for and the first two years at school abroad was rejection. It felt as though her parents wanted to get rid of her so as to avoid similar scenario with her elder sister. And only God knows how she struggled with rejection for so long, especially nights when thoughts of her best days with her elder sister comes crawling up mercilessly in her head. They were quite an item. Yes. An item. Joyce loved Noma more than she could show and more than the latter could know. Noma came across to her as having the perfect life; she doesn’t have to worry about eating chocolates, burgers, cheese or pizzas, because there’s no weight to watch, but Joyce literally had to measure all servings of her food just so she doesn’t blow up. Noma looked like a promising career woman. She was Joyce’s motivation and more. She was everything in an elder sister. She had told Joyce about the importance of having her own mind and pursuing her life’s dream with reckless abandon.
Noma wasn’t your usual rich spoilt professor’s kid that acted all comfortable and proud around. She was down to earth with people, even though she doesn’t do so perfectly well with human relationship, she could be given a pass for attempting. Noma was the only person Joyce shared her crush stories in high school with. The boy she liked but wouldn’t look at her because she’s fat and he preferred her slim friends instead. Amidst all the low self-esteem that Joyce’s plus size was posing on her face, Noma made her feel good about herself. Noma always used the phrase,
‘we all are not meant to be slim, girl. This world needs some beautiful plus size gluttons like you’.
They’d laugh until their ribs crack and then fight some other time and make up, laugh again and fight again. Thinking about it now, Joyce couldn’t believe she’d survived without her sister for six years. Although at a point, in the third year after her parents told her they couldn’t find the whereabouts of her sister, in order to keep her sanity, she had to convince her head that her sister was dead. Yea. Dead. It was the only way to accept the fact that her sister was gone. Gone to where? No one knows. She may be dead after all.
“I didn’t know what harm I was doing to the emotional tempo of our once, happy and fulfilled little home when I chased Noma out. I’m sorry, baby.” Prof Akpa’s voice cracks and Joyce leaves off her mother’s hand and hurries over to him.
“It’s OK, Dad.” She hugs him tightly. “It’s OK.”
Her brain isn’t taking the ‘It’s OK’ consolation her mouth is voicing out. Because until she meets Noma again, here on earth or in eternity, nothing is ever going to be OK.
“Joyce.” Her mother’s weak voice calls and she disengages from hugging her father to come sit on the bed with eyes as curious as a puppy dog. “You know what I’ve always told you?” Joyce nods her head in the affirmative, urging her mother to speak on. “When your daddy was driving your sister away to the park and you were wailing profusely. You remember asking me why your dad and I would send your sister away.”
“You said, adults are complicated, mum. You said, sometimes you disagree to agree and that you are sure dad is doing the right thing for all of us.” Joyce reels out the words thoughtfully, as though careful not to leave anything out.
Prof Iye bits her lips.
“Yes baby. Adults are complicated, always complicated but don’t ever lose sights of the fact that your parents love you and would always want the best for you amidst whatever complication.” With each statement, Prof Iye feels more in charge, in command of her own mind, body and soul. She is a woman walking into her own destiny; a destiny that lay squarely in her own hands.
Prof Akpa dreads the worst in his position near the door. He is more aware of the pounding of his head than the cramping on his legs as a result of standing for too long. What he fears most is about to happen to him, he could feel it. He could sense it clearly in the air.
“That’s why, baby,” Prof Iye moves a finger down Joyce face. “Your father and I are having a divorce…”
The room swirls before becoming stationary again. Joyce stays silent, staring at her mother, her wide eyes becoming glossy with tears. There are a thousand and one questions up her head but none is bold enough to leak out.
Prof Akpa stands on weak ankles. The room sways almost continuously, causing him to loose balance and he reaches out for the wall. Iye’s words fall out of her mouth like vapor but lands in his guts as sharp nails. He feels something tear on his insides and blood drains from his face. Drawing closer, Joyce leaves off to give him enough space. He stands, looking like death itself for several minutes, before falling on his knees.
“Iye, please don’t do this.”
Joyce feels her heart break in pieces as she sees the lone tear crawling down her father’s face.
“The man you were, Audu, the one I married, would kill you for hurting me this deeply. You were someone, Audu. You were that guy, the one who had the principles and the backbone.”
“It was a mistake, Iye. Believe me it was. I made a terrible mistake.”
Joyce knows she’s been forgotten and so just listens on to what they are saying. It is not adding up in her head the degree of mistake her father could possibly make for the woman to opt for a divorce beats her imagination. A divorce?
“My baby…”
Her mother’s voice jerks her from her thoughts and she brings her attention back.
“I know you love and enjoy your father so much. We are not about to take away one more person you adore so much the way you loved your sister from your life. So you get to choose who takes custody of you, OK?”
Seriously? Joyce wants to ask. How did they get here so quickly?
It appears like a nightmare, too scary to be true.
“Mum?”
“I’m leaving your father, baby. He already left me alone in this marriage a long time ago. It’s just fair enough I do same. I’m sorry!” Iye says on a note of finality as the tension in the room builds upwards. Then there’s the ‘timely’ knock on the door and Joyce hurries over to open it but the mere sight of the person behind the door makes her tremble.

To be continued…
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About Grace Ochigbo

Grace Ochigbo
Grace Ochigbo is a Christian, storyteller, inspirational speaker and the Founder of Gemstone Sickle Cell Aid Team, a non-profit organizations working to end Sickle Cell Disease. IG; graceochigbo Tweeter; graciouselara email; gemstonescat@gmail.com

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